Mint is a calming herb that belongs to the genus Mentha, and they are made up of many species. The different varieties of mint are named according to their specific flavor of essential oils found in them and the shape of their leaves, however, the common varieties are peppermints ( named due to their peppery aroma), and spearmints (named due to its leaf's resemblance to a spear). The basic quality of the mint remains moreover same in every species, while the taste and flavor of different species vary from sweetness to slight pungency.
Mint, the popular herb contains fair amounts of several nutrients, and it is a good source of vitamin A and antioxidants. They offer several benefits which include proper digestion and weight loss, relief from nausea, depression, fatigue, and headache, and treatment of asthma, memory loss, and skin care problems. All these and more are the benefits of offering mint to humans, what now happens if your Guinea pigs were offered mint? Can guinea pigs even eat mint? Continue reading this article to find out the answer.
Can guinea pigs eat mint?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat mint but only in moderation. Mint is a relatively safe and nutritious herb that is suitable for the health of your guinea pigs. This is because the plant is enriched with a lot of nutritional nutrients like vitamin A, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and some other micronutrients. However, mint contains some high amounts of nutrients which make them not to be a regular meal for your pets hence, it should be mixed with other vegetables in other to balance out the nutrients present in them. Mint has various varieties but can your little cavies eat all types of mint?
What kind of variety of Mint can guinea pigs eat?
Mint comes in various varieties and sizes, however, not all of them can be eaten by guinea pigs. Some of the mints that are healthy and can be eaten by guinea pigs are listed
- Garden/Spear Mint: Yes, guinea pigs can eat spearmint. This type of mint is one of the popular mints, and it has a sweet and less minty taste. This mint should be given to your guinea pigs in moderation since it is not enriched with vitamin C. Therefore, it should be mixed with other herbaceous plants that contain a decent amount of vitamin C for the healthy living of your pets.
- Lemon Mint: Yes, guinea pigs can eat lemon mint. Lemon mint also known as lemon balm or balm mint has a balm and aromatic flavor that can be used as a calming effect for your little cavies. This type of mint is enriched with a decent proportion of antioxidants properties, hence it is an ideal herb for your pets
- Chocolate mint: Yes, guinea pigs can eat chocolate Mint. Chocolate mint is a special type of peppermint, and this variety has some nuances of chocolate in its taste and smell and this makes them one of the favorite herbs of guinea pigs. However, this mint is also enriched with a decent amount of beneficial nutrients that can not be found in other varieties like Vitamin C and A.
Can guinea pigs eat mint stalk, stem, flower, and leaves
Guinea pigs can eat almost all the parts of this herbaceous plant (the stem, flowers, and leaves) except the mint's roots. The leaves have their beneficial purpose however they should be thoroughly washed because they are likely prone to pesticides or insecticides.
Mint flowers are edible, and they are known for their exotic taste, and this is why your little Davies wet relatively drawn to these plants. However, it should always be given to them in moderation just like the stalk and stem of this plant.
In what proportion should mint be given to guinea pigs
It has been deduced above that Mints can be nutritionally beneficial to your guinea pigs when offered in the correct proportion. However, what is the standard proportion? Any varieties of mints should be given to your Guinea pigs once or twice a week in small quantities. However, a little lesser than the standard proportion should be served to your pets if it is just been introduced. This is mainly to rule out any type of discomfort and allergy reaction that may arise in their digestive system. After the introduction and there are no possible disadvantages, you can consider giving them in larger proportion but at the same time do not overfeed them.
What are the health benefits of feeding Mint to guinea pigs
It aids digestion
Mint has long been used to help with digestion and may help to reduce bloating and gas for your little cavies. It may also have a soothing effect on the digestive system, which can help to relieve symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.
It helps to relieve tension and stress
Peppermint oil has been used to help relieve tension and any form of stress for your little cavies. This is because of a specific ingredient found in their oil, and this substance is called Methanol (it is responsible for the soothing effect).
It helps to relieve allergy reaction
Some pet owners say that inhaling the aroma of peppermint can help to reduce allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion and sinus pressure. However, this has not been fully supported by statistics
It helps to repair their skin
Mint leaves contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which may make them useful for treating skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. It also helps to improve their immune system
Possible health risks of feeding mints to guinea pigs
There is a lot of health risk attached to feeding mint to guinea pigs, but these are the list of the common health risks. Kidney and bladder stones are caused by excessive calcium present in mint. A high amount of fiber leads to weak digestion if it is overfed. Lastly, various versions of stomach upset can be caused by the overfeeding mint to your guinea pigs.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat mints but do not try to overfeed it to your little cavies. There are indeed a lot of beneficial nutrients that can be found in them however, it is of great importance to follow the standard proportion of feeding these herbaceous plants to guinea pigs because of the high proportion of calcium found in them. Other information needed concerning mints has been explained in this article.